Completes RFP's for Wind Energy
The Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (DNRC)
has completed, published, and distributed a Request for Proposals (RFP)
for wind energy projects on state school trust land as directed by the
Land Board. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed Senate
Bill 506, providing a tax incentive to companies choosing to locate
wind farms on state school trust land.
DNRC’s objectives in issuing this RFP are: 1) To lease state school
trust lands for new commercial scale wind generation facilities. 2) To
provide long term, full market value return to state school trust funds.
3) To have the wind power projects achieve commercial operation as soon as
possible, with minimal impacts to the environment.
"The RFP process is relatively simple," stated DNRC Property
Management Supervisor, Jeanne Fairbanks. "This RFP is directed at
experienced wind project developers with a demonstrated ability to design,
construct, operate, and maintain large-scale wind energy facilities.
Respondents must be able to obtain transmission rights, necessary road and
utility easements, the lessee is responsible for the design, labor,
materials, and equipment necessary to construct and operate the
"Respondents must be able to obtain construction and long term
project financing. Respondents will also be responsible for a transmission
study to determine if nearby transmission lines have the carrying capacity
to accept and deliver energy generated from the wind project & costs
associated with the preparation and completion of the environmental review
under the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA)."
The Montana Power Company (MPC) has also developed an RFP to purchase
up to 150 megawatts of wind energy from those companies that develop this
alternative energy source. "We are pushing forward with this RFP as
quickly as possible to allow those companies that plan to respond to the
MPC RFP to incorporate state land into their proposals," Fairbanks
"Wind energy is an attractive alternative for producing electricity
in Montana. That is evident by the Legislature passing tax incentives, the
MPC’s request to purchase the power and the Land Board making the
project a top priority."
According to Fairbanks, upon completion of the RFP process, the DNRC
will have to look at the effects wind energy will have on the natural
resources. The DNRC plans to do this by following the guidelines outlined
in the Montana Environmental Protection Act (MEPA).
For more information about the RFP process, contact DNRC Property
Management Supervisor, Jeanne Fairbanks, at 406-542-4346. The entire RFP
is also available on-line at http://www.dnrc.state.mt.us/rfpwind.htm